Sculpture That Artist Kept Stashed Under His Bed Is Headed to Auction

John Duncan Fergusson, Eastre, Hymn to the Sun.
John Duncan Fergusson, Eastre, Hymn to the Sun.

A sculpture by Scottish artist John Duncan Fergusson worth an estimated $20,000–30,000 will be sold at Edinburgh auctioneers, Lyon & Turnbull on May 22. The statue, Eastre, Hymn to the Sun, lay under Fergusson’s bed for three years, until he could afford to have it cast.

“Fergusson was the most commercially successful and critically regarded of the Scottish Colourists,” said Charlotte Riordan, Lyon & Turnbull’s paintings specialist, in a press release. “His paintings and sketches are well known, but the three sculptures we have in our sale are much rarer.”

Eastre, Hymn to the Sun is one of three bronzes by the artist in the sale of Fergusson’s work, along with the less valuable Effulgence and Torse de Femme.

“The main reason sculpture wasn’t a bigger factor in Fergusson’s career was simply down to money,” claims Riordan. “He would create plaster maquets but rarely had the money to have them cast. Often, he would paint the plaster gold and exhibit them alongside labels stating ‘can be cast upon purchase.’”


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